The chicks were due to hatch, by my calculations, on Easter.
None have hatched, yet. We’ve had a lot of egg wiggling and a bit of peeping but no little babies yet out to greet the world. Three days past the “due” date, I had begun to give up on them, setting a deadline and ready to start over, sure I’d managed to kill an entire clutch of eggs before they even had a chance to begin.
But this morning…hope! We have one egg pipped (the chick has broken through the shell) and a couple more still moving as the chicks get into position to work their way into the world.
How could my date be so off? I started thinking about it. I counted the day we put the eggs into the incubator and I should not have. The embryos don’t start growing until they reach the right temperature inside the shells, and, they most likely didn’t reach 99.5* until at least 12 to 24 hours after being put in the incubator. So, that makes the due date April 1. I did some research and asked questions of those with more experience hatching than I and learned that a still air incubator (which is what we are using) is usually set a few degrees higher than a forced air incubator…so 102* instead of 99.5-100*. We did not do that, which most likely delayed hatching by a couple more days…lower temperatures equal slower embryo growth. A lesson learned.
I was so excited to see that pipped egg this morning I almost called in sick to work so I could stay home and keep an eye on them. But…I also know that being home would be more nerve-wracking than being at work and I’d waste an entire day staring at eggs like a crazy person.
Crossing my fingers that I get home to a few hatched chicks tonight!